Recent Graduate - Portfolio Questions

I have recently graduated from university with a BFA in illustration. I’m interested in applying to junior graphic design/ entry level graphic design jobs.
I took two graphic design courses in university, so I know some basics. However, I am unsure of what exactly goes into a graphic design portfolio and I’m basically trying to create a portfolio from scratch.

Is it better to focus on one area of expertise (logos, branding, layouts, etc), or should I diversify as much as I can?

Is it acceptable to put non-vector illustrations into a graphic design portfolio?

When creating projects to put into a portfolio, is it permissible/acceptable to redesign/rebrand an existing company or business?

Additionally, many job listings I’ve seen are interested in candidates who have “good typography skills.” What exactly does this mean? (i.e. choosing typefaces, creating my own typefaces, kerning, etc) Or all of the above?

Sorry for so many questions, but I am pretty new to all of this. Any insight is much appreciated!

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Is it better to focus on one area of expertise (logos, branding, layouts, etc), or should I diversify as much as I can?

– These days “branding” = diversity. It’s the look and feel of the brand applied across a wide array of communication devices: logo, stationery, website, out of home, advertising, etc. So if you focus on branding, you’ll necessarily have the diversity that I think most employers want to see. I don’t think you’re going to get into a narrow, specialized job unless it’s website design.

Is it acceptable to put non-vector illustrations into a graphic design portfolio?

– I would say yes. Some of the best designers I know are excellent illustrators.

When creating projects to put into a portfolio, is it permissible/acceptable to redesign/rebrand an existing company or business?

– Yes. Another approach would be to reach out to professors or classmates from college and get assignments they worked on.

Additionally, many job listings I’ve seen are interested in candidates who have “good typography skills.” What exactly does this mean? (i.e. choosing typefaces, creating my own typefaces, kerning, etc) Or all of the above?

– I don’t think “good typography skills” necessarily means being able to create your own typeface. In my opinion, that’s an art unto itself. But selecting an appropriate typeface, being able to set the type well, knowing what size to use in a given application, leading, letter spacing, word spacing, kerning, hyphenation, rag, etc. all factor in to setting legible, inviting type. Typographic skills involve a sensitivity to type that you have to work for.

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A good portfolio is your key to success as a designer. There are so many details to how a good portfolio should look. Here’s a free guide that’ll describe them all - https://www.format.com/magazine/guides/build-the-perfect-portfolio-design

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